Pregnancy classes give birth to holistic care at Balga Salvos
By CLIFF WORTHING
Pregnancy can be daunting, especially for first-time families, but Balga Early Years Services in Perth has stepped in to provide information and support through its pregnancy classes.
“The classes give parents a nitty-gritty, reality base rather than the sanitised Instagram version of the early days post-birth,” said Jo Ineson, Early Years Director at Balga Corps. “We provide professional and specialised information that empowers families to work through each step of the journey from pregnancy to post-birth.”
The classes focus on helping the whole family unit with information about birth interventions, breastfeeding, mental health, nutrition and relationship changes that may occur with partners and other family members.
The child health centre supports a culturally diverse local community with different social expectations. Many new families in the area also face a lack of social connections and loneliness, which is often accentuated by the arrival of a child.
“There is no other service like this because we strive to provide a deeper and holistic response geared to community needs,” Jo said. “Because the health service is co-located at the corps, we can connect new families to our other programs that address many other needs.”
Jo noted that they see many transformed lives through their approach. She also noted that in some instances, Balga Salvos’ services had supported four generations from one family group.
“It is humbling and a privilege to journey with these families,” Jo said. “There isn’t much better than to do life with them and see the positive impact made in their lives.”
The first pregnancy classes for 2023 began on 28 February with 14 attendees. A mix of first-time parents, parents in their third birth experience and other professionals up-skilling shared their knowledge.
“It was brilliant, as we could actually see the parents being empowered and equipped during the session,” said Jo. “A positive impact was happening right in front of us!”